Is it Alzheimer’s, a Different Type of Dementia, or Something Else Entirely?
s it Alzheimer’s disease? As people age, the rapid mental recall of youth often fades. Yet most aging adults have wisdom and life experience to share and are cognitively sound. With increased awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, however, has come an increased fear that every mental glitch we experience as we age is a sign of AD. So, what could these disturbing symptoms be if they are not AD?
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that gradually destroys memory and thinking skills. Eventually, the ability to carry out simple tasks is also lost, as is the ability to recognize family members and communicate one’s needs. If Alzheimer’s strikes a person before age 65, it’s termed early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Most people with the disease will show symptoms after the age of 65.
All too often the words “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” are used interchangeably, so it’s important to know that Alzheimer’s is just one type of dementia, though it’s thought to be the most common type. Dementia means the loss of cognitive functioning such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning. Changes in behavior that affect a person to the extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities are also signs of dementia.
There are many types of dementia including vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia (Pick’s disease), dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease, and dementia associated with alcoholism, as well as Alzheimer’s, of course.
Continue reading on HealthCentral for more about how complicated a dementia diagnosis can be: